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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As of now, I am beginning to stock my planted 45 gallon. So far I have 4 Otos in there feasting on the new algae growth. My heart has been set on getting either a rainbow or a red tail "shark". However, I really like tanks stocked with assorted barbs. I would like to do this and stock it with an assortment of Tigers, Albinos, Cherries, Black Rubies. I was thinking 3 of each. How would this work out with a rainbow/red tail shark?

My tank is moderately planted, but will soon be heavy as soon as they all grow in and I add a couple more on my list. I also have some rocks and some fake tunnelled driftwood in there. Also, I would introduce the shark last, after all other fish have been in the tank. I know some barbs can be nippy and supposedly, it becomes less of a problem with bigger schools. If I were to have 12-15 barbs, IN THEORY, should everything be okay? I know I'm dealing with some aggressive fish, but I figured given enough space and hiding places, it may be alright...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And then on top of that, I am seeing that a school of at least 5 barbs is what's needed to cut down on the aggression, but is that restricted by exact species? Meaning, would 3 tigers and 2 albinos count as a school of 5 or would they treat eachother as 2 seperate schools?
 

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i would say dont get the rts, two reasons they do get 6+inch and can be agressive from time to time mine got 6+ in under a year and fought constantly, imo i would say keep with the barbs and something else maybe a loach or something. for your ? on the schooling when they have a decent group they are usually distracted enough by eathother to not have time to go after other fish as much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Makes sense. I did read somewhere that different colors will make different shoals, but I think if there are many different colors in small groups, they may warm up to each other. But, not sure, which is why i'm asking lol.

As for the "sharks". I hear viewpoints from both ends of the spectrum. Some swear of of them and have had nothing but aggression, and others say they have never once had issues. Maybe it just depends on the temperment of the specific "shark" you get.
 

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Had a redtail in my 40 for a while, and he constantly chased the other fish around, he was around 4-5 inches.

As far as barbs go, I'd say narrow your list to 2 types and get at least 7 of each.
Odessa barbs are pretty peaceful compared to Tigers and they look amazing.
 

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I once kept a RTBS in my 46gal with a school of 8 TBs, a betta, and a pair of loaches, and it worked really well- all of the fish were able to stick up for themselves quite well. I'd just be sure to provide several caves.
 

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If you want a RTBS you're going to need semi-aggressive tankmates (like tiger barbs). Some of the fish you mentioned are too peaceful to live with the RTBS.

Also, all the barbs you want are shoaling fish and really should be kept in schools of 6+ each. Tiger barbs will shoal w/ albino and green tiger barbs but not with other types of barbs.

The ottos are also too peaceful and will likely be tormented by the RTBS and Tigers.

You'll either need to stock a semi-aggressive community tank or a peaceful community tank. I wouldn't mix semi-aggressive and peaceful temperaments.
 

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A school of Tiger barbs and a Rainbow shark is what I said I was gonna do in my 50 gallon-----then I got a pair of Bolivian rams and the other fish didnt seem to fit the plan anymore. I would still like to do that though.


I would think the otos might be OK in there--the other fish wouldnt see them as a threat. Worth a try anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The Otos have plenty of hiding places and tend to just lay on the leaves, so they dont attract too much attention, but I guess I'll just have to monitor it closely and see what happens.

Basically, the 3 tiger barb colors seems to be what I should go with. I am leaning more toward the Rainbow over the red tail, not sure if their temperments differenciate much. I think 5-6 of each color would be okay.

How should I introduce them to the tank? Should I introduce each color at different times, or should I mix the colors while introducing?
 

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All the tiger barbs will shoal together, so don't worry about how to introduce them. Do it slowly though, as to now overload your beneficial bacteria.

FWIW, I have a 30 gallon tank with 14 tiger barbs, a blue gourami, and am planning to get a RTBS. I'm waiting several months for the shark though, as I want the tiger barbs to grow a bit larger as I hear the RTBS is a fast grower.
 

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When I had my 130 gal. several years back I had a rts with my Green Cromide Cichlids and other fish but he only bothered the Cromides the rts was about 4" and the Mated pair of Cromides were about 4" in size as well. The rts would pester the tar out of them nipping and chasing them until they would get enough of his bulling and would take a perfect mouth shaped bit out of his tail after which he would leave them alone until his tail grew back then he would start his bulling all over again it was the craziest thing this went on for 5 or 6 years without fail. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I bought 1 Tiger (they literally only had 1 left), 3 Green Tigers, and 3 Rosy barbs. I realize the Rosies aren't tigers, but so far they all seem to be fine. All the colors seem to be going back and forth with schooling together and then schooling seperately. I didn't see any fin nipping yet, and only a few chasings, but within the same colors. Going to purchase 8 more (coming to 5 of each) tomorrow. I'll just continue to keep a close eye on them for a while.
 
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